#35 Woodworking | A Little Spruce (or Pine, or Oak…)

aka Refinishing an Antique School Desk

Since I was about 9 years old or so I had this antique school desk in my bedroom that usually served as my bedside table. When I started moving into homes where more than just one room was mine to do as I pleased, the little antique desk became an occasional table, usually stuffed with programs, take out menus, instructions for assembling furniture, and any other spare part sort of things that would more-or-less fit.

It was, essentially, a junk drawer.

And, over the years, it’d started to look a little worse for wear. For the last 2 years it’s been hanging out in our garage because there was no place in the house for it to be.

Poor little antique school desk.

Originally I thought the desk had been something Mom had picked up along the way, but it turns out that the piece of furniture goes back at least to my paternal grandmother, and possibly to my great-grandmother (Mom said it was kept in Mamie’s room, which became mine when we moved in with grandma when I was 3). Now, I don’t know where they got it from, if it was something from their childhood or acquired later, but I do mean to find out!

Knowing how far back the desk goes, though, makes me feel more than a little ashamed at how it’s been treated over the years. There were stickers applied, candle wax melted on, wet glasses set on it and the cubby stuffed so full that the bottom long since gave way and had to be reinforced more than once.

I’m happy to report, however, that this tale has a happy ending.